I've learned a few things perusing the boards here. It seems that there's a wealth of knowledge and experience here. I almost made the huge mistake of going with a streaming provider for the internet radio station I'm starting. I learned from an internet radio forum that if you're streaming to more than 100 simultaneous listeners on a 24/7 station, it's alot cheaper to go dedicated. After looking at some of the ded. server company sites on this forum I'm convinced!
However what I don't want to do is buy too little or too much in a dedicated server setup. Can anyone give me some pointers on what my setup should look like? Here's what I know on my end:
-24hrs/7 days streaming audio in multiple bitrates (i.e. 24, 64, and 128kbps)
-50% of programming will be "live" feed from my studio mixer/PC audio card
-space for stream-on-demand of archived content
-space for the station's webpage (e-commerce,forum,chat,calendar,form mail,etc.)
-simultaneous listeners peak at 600 for some shows, average 200 overall.
-I want to use Shoutcast server software. (versions for UNIX, Win, FreeBSD) -audio feed originates in Texas. Most listeners will be in the US.
-audio feed originates in Texas. Most listeners will be in the US.
Fortunately there's quite a bit of hosting available in TX and everyone in the US generally gets quite decent speeds there. You definitely need an unmetered connection, however the quality of bandwidth is not of utmost importance for streaming (ie: cogent would be fine). 24/7 streaming is obviously fine since your server will be up 24/7 - however, you will want to get a DEDICATED unmetered for this - do not purchase a "shared" unmetered line as you will likely run into issues somewhere down the road.
Check the offers category for something near what I've described. I'd also recommend using *nix or FreeBSD for this as well - you just won't get the same performance from a windows machine (and it would cost you more for windows anyway).
You're looking at a middle-to-upper level server here - I think a fast P4 or single Xeon would do you well (make sure you have MINIMUM a gig of ram).
I know ColoGuys can provide you with what you want. Their in Texas, and have a rock solid network with Cogent, Level 3, and Global Crossing. Talk to Ukyo here on the boards and see what he can do for you. For 600 users, a decent P4 (3.0 GHz) with 1GB RAM should be fine. Your main thing will be bandwidth, which you will be using a lot of.